The fate of footpath parking in some areas of Melbourne’s CBD will be considered tonight (18 February 2020) at a meeting where council will also be asked to regulate rogue delivery scooter parking.
Riders have been encourage to attend the Future Melbourne Committee meeting at 5.30pm on the Council Meeting Room, Level 2, Town Hall Administration Building, to hear council’s plan to remove footpath parking from some areas and add 151 free on-street parking bays, replacing 36 car bays. It is also being live streamed here. Click here to make a submission by 10am today.
Click here to read more about the plan to free up more footpath space for pedestrians and the expansion of cafes.
Transport Portfolio Chair Councillor Nicolas Frances-Gilley said Victoria is the only state in Australia that allows motorcycles to park on footpaths under the road rules.
Currently around 1200 motorcycles park on footpaths in the central city per day and there are 245 existing motorcycle parking spaces.
The move was initially supported by the Victorian Motorcycle Council which has now withdrawn that support and issued this statement:
Whilst we support the intent of managing footpath congestion in the face of increasing pedestrian numbers, the proposal has several critical flaws and significant concerns in its current form. It is also significantly different to the proposal that was reviewed and endorsed at the November 2019 Motorcycles in the City of Melbourne Committee meeting which in essence was a 1:1 displaced bike to on-road parking proposal. The committee was not informed of the changes and had no opportunity to review them. In engineering circles, this is called an ‘uncontrolled change’.
Our deliberations with CoM identified that critical changes were introduced following a stakeholder group’s instigated footpath walking inspection with CoM engineers. From this meeting, CoM were under the impression that more bikes on average would be able to be parked in a standard car space if those car spaces were not marked and painted with Australian Standard angled motorcycle parking bays. The assumption saw CoM factor in on-street parking for 151 bikes across 36 car spaces, whereas approximately 126 (a ratio of 3.5 bikes per car space as originally proposed) was more likely. This dropped the nearly 1:1 replacement ratio to 1 : 0.72 and exacerbated the misalignment between the location of proposed restrictions and the potential location of the 36 car spaces.
At an average of 3.5 bikes per car spaces, CoM needs to review the impact of the additional car spaces that would be needed to meet the originally endorsed proposal. And also factor in the impact of future bike use growth.
It has also been rejected by the Victorian Motorcycle Riders Association who believe it could be the first step toward a total ban on footpath parking.
Scooters crowding foopaths
Emeritus professor of transport Marcus Wigan says he will make a formal submission tonight to regulate footpath parking for commercial motorcycles and scooters.
He says the rapid growth of commercial food delivery scooters and some small motorcycles has not been addressed in the council’s paper.
“These take up a great deal of space in the areas that they congregate, and are in general less likely to respect the other users of the footpath due to inexperience and commercial time pressures,” his submission says.
“It is also likely that they are unaware of the footpath parking guidelines that have been so successful over the years.”
Prof Wigan suggests that commercial use of the footpath be regulated, including the parking of commercial vehicles such as delivery scooters.
He says this would not only regulate parking, but also improve the “briefing and management of the riders”.
“Road space, kerb space and footpath space are all under pressure, and space allocation and usage are all increasingly important,” says Prof Wigan who is selling his 2017 Indian Scout for a Yamaha MT-01SP. (Click here if you would like more info on his Scout!)